Suga for Valentino, Jimin for Dior... Who's next?
Ever since BTS announced it was entering a new chapter as a group — one that saw them pursuing more solo endeavors while remaining a team — it feels as though ARMY hasn't had a second to rest. There was J-Hope's solo album, followed by his headlining Lollapalooza set; Jin's collaboration with Coldplay, before enlisting for his mandatory military service; Jung Kook's official single for the 2022 World Cup; RM's solo album... That's not even mentioning all the certified bops they've released with other artists in between, plus the World Expo concert in Busan that debuted a performance of "Run BTS" I haven't stopped thinking about since.
During this time, the members — RM (Kim Namjoon), Kim Seokjin (Jin), Suga (Min Yoongi), J-Hope (Jung Hoseok), Jimin (Park Jimin), V (Kim Taehyung) and Jung Kook (Jeon Jungkook) — have also been deepening their individual relationships with global fashion houses, resulting in two of them being named official brand ambassadors in January.
"This special bond seals, more than ever, his friendship with the house and Kim Jones, who had designed, in 2019, the stage outfits of his band BTS," the brand said, in a statement. "The South Korean artist now embodies the spirit and singularity of Dior style, modernity with a timeless signature."
Then, on Jan. 17 — a few days after it was announced Suga would star in a new Essentials campaign for the house in GQ (and wore a head-to-toe look from the label court side at a Lakers game in LA) — Valentino said it had signed him as a brand ambassador, part of its "quest of [pursuing] authenticity and individuality, by scouting personas, who embody the Maison values."
Suga, the brand explained in a statement, "is a contemporary DI.VAs. DI.VAs is a wordplay, an acronym denoting Different Values. The Valentino DI.VAs are multifaceted character of codes, upheld by inner values. Empathetic, intelligent and romantic. For Pierpaolo Piccioli, DI.VAs is the essence of authenticity, progressive ideals and diversity that lead to change and convey the value of the Maison."
The multi-hyphenate "has created his own style as a rapper, songwriter, producer and performer, while being a member of the global pop icons BTS," it continued. "His unique style and music world is a way to convey values that lead to a change."
Of the appointment, Suga said: "All individuals have different dreams and values. Maison Valentino and creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli have been supportive of diversity which is something that I also believe in. I am happy to be joining as DI.VAs and to collaborate on this amazing campaign with Maison Valentino Essentials."
As a group, BTS became brand ambassadors for Louis Vuitton in 2021, wearing the label on the red carpet and even modeling full collections. That deal seems to have expired, but the house still has a strong relationship with them: It confirmed on Twitter that J-Hope is set to attend its Fall 2023 menswear in Paris on Jan. 19. Meanwhile, V was a guest of Celine's at its Paris Fashion Week show in July, and he's continued to wear the brand pretty consistently.
It's no surprise these luxury houses are clamoring to sign these highly influential artists and trendsetters individually. It just makes you (me) wonder who's next: RM for Prada or Loewe, maybe? (Is my bias showing?)